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Tag Archives: The Spectator

Kreises of conscience

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days The True Story of the Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler by Rebecca Donner Canongate, £16.99, pp576 . In 1928, modest young blue-collar English lecturer Mildred Fish arrives in Berlin to begin her PhD in American Literature. In the febrile, polyglot atmosphere at the […]

Trouble at’ Mill

Notes on the life (and afterlife) of JS Mill, philosopher . The classical liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill was born and died this month – in, respectively, 1806 and 1873 – and in between he wrote (or co-wrote, with his wife, and then his step-daughter) On Liberty, Utilitarianism, Principles of Political Economy, Considerations of Representative Government, […]

Beneath the mountains

Review of Alexandria: the Quest for the Lost City, by Edmund Richardson. — For The Spectator

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. A banker’s license in the United Kingdom costs £30 per annum. — The Nelson Evening Mail, Friday, July 17 1908 . Sri Lanka has only 500 cases of the Coronavirus. Germany has no elite universities. There are a lot of porno videos featuring Scarlett Johansson’s face. Mexico City is a good place to be an […]

The Pelican

Or; Some Further Notes Towards the Bestiary To the researches of the antiquary and scholar Jorge Luis ‘Vintage’ Borges, a few points offer further context on that most peripatetic of birds in this, our present century. . Learned reports come from South Asia, where the spotted-bill Filipino pelican (phillipensis) is found, with no small irony, only in Cambodia, the Indian peninsular, and in Sri Lanka (or the contemporary […]

Selassie come home

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste Canongate, £16.99, pp. 428 . In 1935 the troops of Benito Mussolini’s sinister-clownish Roman Empire II invaded Ethiopia, in large part out of spite for Italy’s embarrassing defeat there 40 years before. Initially largely uncontested – thanks both to emperor Haile Selassie’s desperate faith in international brotherhood and to […]

Trouble at t’Mill

The curious life of John Stuart Mill, philosopher . When JS Mill was born, his father, James, challenged a friend to ‘race with you in the education of… the most accomplished and virtuous young man.’ That other child has not gone down in history – but he may well have dodged a serious bullet. Learning […]

M.O.’s m.o. – or; Everybody wants to be like Mike

A review of Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight. — For The Spectator

A moment of indexision

On Bram Stoker, #indexday, and the weird and wonderful history of the hapax legomenon. — For The Spectator

Cannon law

Review of Kim A Wagner’s The Skull of Alum Bheg: The Life and Death of a Rebel of 1857. — For The Spectator